Night photography film

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by z-one-b, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. z-one-b

    z-one-b Guest

    I'm rather new to still photography and have greatly enjoyed reading this
    board over the last few weeks.
    Now for the question...I've taken a particular shine to night photography
    and have been able to create a few nice photos out of it. However, when I
    received my last roll of film I found that the grain on some of the pictures
    was unacceptable, which had not been a problem with the last few rolls I
    took. I was shooting in low light conditions, more so than the last times I
    went out at night (and yes, I "bracket" my shots). The camera was an Nikon
    F65 and I was using Kodak Max 400 film. I think the problem might lie in
    one of these three places:
    1)I wasn't using the same film as the last times (I used 400 iso film from
    Black's the last times - a large photo store in these parts)
    2)The iso - should I use maybe a 200 or even 100 and just expose longer?
    2)The developpement - I tried another developper this time 'round...(but
    always ask that no corrections be done).
    Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
    z-one-b, Sep 17, 2003
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  2. z-one-b

    Bandicoot Guest

    With print film, underexposure almost invariably produces coarse grin, as
    well as muddy colours and blocked up shadows.

    I'd look into that first as the most likely problem, especially as you have
    had OK results before.

    Bandicoot, Sep 17, 2003
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  3. z-one-b

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I would assume your problem was from the no-name film.
    I do a lot of night photography and usually use either 100 speed or 1600
    speed film according to the situation - 100 for still subjects and 1600 for
    motion. there are a couple articles on doing night photography here:
    the last two on the page.
    And at my photography site you will find night shots throughout, but
    especially in the portfolio called "The Noctonaut" and in Gallery 2 "The
    Long Good Night":
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    Tony Spadaro, Sep 17, 2003
  4. z-one-b

    z-one-b Guest

    I would assume your problem was from the no-name film.

    The grainy pictures were taken with the Kodak film.
    Thanks for the reply,
    You're right, the grainer the shot, the more under-exposed the picture was.
    However, the night shots that were "properly exposed" (according to the
    camera) do not look like they were taken at night - too much contrast. So I
    guess what I am looking for here is less grain in the "under" photos.
    z-one-b, Sep 17, 2003
  5. z-one-b

    jriegle Guest

    If your night scenics are still, you may as well shoot ISO100 film. It may
    even help to rate it at 50 and have it developed normally. I assume you are
    getting prints back. The machine may detect large dark areas in your images
    and over expose during printing causing enhanced grain. Take your film to
    competent lab and tell them you have night shots so they can adjust the
    machine accordingly. Sometimes going to a pro lab is the only way to get
    things done right, but at a cost.

    jriegle, Sep 17, 2003
  6. z-one-b

    Hickster0711 Guest

    In camera meters don't know about reciprocity failure. It's different with
    every film. Plus, the meter might be fooled by the placement of the light in
    the particular shot. In dim lite, I have good luck ith Fuji [email protected] 200 exposing
    for the darkest important shadows. But that makes for some very long exposures.
    Of course, without decent printing, nothing you do will work.
    Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Sep 18, 2003
  7. z-one-b

    Ed E. Guest

    Any comments or suggestions appreciated.

    Do you scan any of your film? If so, I've found that Fuji's Velvia 50 slide
    film did an excellent job on night shots. Velvia 100F showed a bit more
    grain. I'd stay away from the Kodak Gold line of film unless you really
    like grain. Their old Royal Gold line (forget what they changed the name
    to) was a very good film.

    I'd also suggest trying out each of the three print films for nearly any
    type of work: Fuji Reala, Fuji NPS160, and Kodak 160NC.
    Ed E., Sep 18, 2003
  8. z-one-b

    z-one-b Guest

    Do you scan any of your film?

    Sorry, I don't know what that means. Oups...still new to this...
    Will do.
    z-one-b, Sep 19, 2003
  9. z-one-b

    Ed E. Guest

    Do you scan any of your film?
    Basically, I'm just referring to a film scanner. If you're just looking at
    a print, you've lost a lot of your image. The only way you're going to get
    the most out of your film is to scan it using a decent, dedicated film

    If you want, mail me a strip of negatives of the subject you are interested
    in (leave them in a sleeve to protect the film, and possibly include
    something stiff like cardboard.) If possible, also include a blank frame
    (usually at the end of the roll) so I can calibrate my scanner to it. I'll
    mail you back a CD with those images scanned from the film. Then you look
    at the image compared to the print you're apparently used to, and you'll see
    what you're missing. Drop me a private e-mail and I'll give you the address
    Ed E., Sep 19, 2003
  10. z-one-b

    JD Guest

    Black's Film is actually repackaged Fuji film.......not sure of the
    line of Fuji film though....

    I've used it for awhile now.
    JD, Sep 19, 2003
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